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Marina Bay Sands achieves new International Standard Certification for green meetings

July 3, 2013 MICE No Comments Email Email

Marina Bay Sands, Asia’s leading destination for business, entertainment and leisure, has become the first event and conference venue outside the US to be certified under a new international sustainability standard in the MICE space.

Marina Bay Sands achieved Level One Certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. The venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.

Mr. Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands, said, “Marina Bay Sands is proud to be the first Asian venue to attain the ASTM Venue certification. This is a significant achievement that TAT-www.thailand.net.aurecognises our extensive and ongoing commitment towards sustainable practices in our daily operations. With this global accolade, we aspire to lead by example and further cement our position as Asia’s leading MICE provider.”

“We are delighted that our industry has embraced the green meetings initiative and we congratulate Marina Bay Sands in attaining the APEX/ASTM standard,” said Ms. Carrie Kwik, Executive Director of Business Tourism Development and Integrated Resorts, Singapore Tourism Board. “Sustainable event planning will be increasingly important in our overall strategy to drive long-term growth in the MICE industry. We look forward to working closely with our industry partners to make Singapore the choice destination for sustainable events in Asia.”

The industry’s first and only comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings were created through a partnership of the Convention Industry Council’s APEX initiative and ASTM International, a leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards.

The standards are composed of performance standards in nine individual sectors, and were initiated by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) in discussions with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).  The GMIC is the only green meeting organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council.

The ASTM Venue Standard outlines the procedural requirements for venue selection – the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an event. The standard specifies specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners.

Tamara Kennedy, Executive Director of the GMIC (Green Meeting and Industry Council), the non-profit professional meetings association that led the development of the ASTM Sustainable Meeting Standards, added, “Responsible environmental and social practices in the meeting industry is a global concern.  We are delighted to see Marina Bay Sands lead the way in Singapore.”

iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut developed the certification protocols for the ASTM standards and performed the independent third party certification of Marina Bay Sands’ compliance with the venue standard. Glenn Hansen, CEO of BPA Worldwide, commented, “Our certification of the event sustainability standards driven by GMIC and now adopted by Marina Bay Sands continues our long-standing partnership with the event industry to promote transparency.”

Marina Bay Sands’ Green Meeting Options

“Being green has been in our DNA from the very beginning, and that thinking in turn influences the way we do business. The green aspects of Marina Bay Sands have been a carefully thought-out process that started the moment we won the bid,” said Marina Bay Sands’ Mr Lee.

All meeting clients benefit from Marina Bay Sands’ standard sustainable practices, which are seamlessly incorporated into its operations. These practices include:

·         Resource conservation with state-of-the-art equipment and lighting management systems

·         Diverse Waste diversion with recycling, composting, and charity donation programmes

·         Indoor air quality management

·         Responsible purchasing with reduced packaging and sustainable office supplies

·         Sustainable banquet practices (reusable china/silver ware, compostable service ware)

In early 2013, Marina Bay Sands launched the Sands ECO360° Meetings Program to provide environmentally preferable choices and options to meeting planners and clients. This program is a holistic approach towards sustainability, and is a pivotal part of the Sands ECO360° Global Sustainability strategy developed by its parent company, Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Under the Sands ECO360° Meetings Program, clients will be assigned a Green Meeting Concierge to understand their green meeting goals and to craft a customised sustainable experience for their events. Green meeting options also include community volunteering programmes, post-event donation programme to local charities, Sands ECO360° property tours, carbon offsets and Harvest Menus with sustainable food options. The green event concludes with a Sands ECO360° Event Impact Statement, which consolidates the sustainable event metrics such as energy and water consumption, recycling rate, carbon emissions and highlights of sustainable initiatives.

“Every Team Member at Marina Bay Sands plays an integral role in advocating sustainability. Sands ECO360° involves all facets of Marina Bay Sands’ unique resources, from Sustainability to MICE, Sales, Guest Services, Food and Beverage, Procurement and Facilities. We conduct internal trainings to educate Team Members on the importance of sustainability, as well as how to communicate these messages to our stakeholders. Hence it’s no longer just another program – but one that is aligned with our company culture and vision,” said Mr Lee.

In February 2012, Marina Bay Sands was also awarded the Green Mark Gold Award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to become the largest single Green Mark Building in Singapore to be certified. The national award is given to buildings rated for their energy and water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor environmental quality and green innovations.

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